Marching Together for Life in Romania

ROMANIA — The “March for Life” 2024, with the theme “Building Together for Life,” took place recently in various cities across Romania and in the Republic of Moldova. In Cluj, Napoca, the event was organized with the blessing of His Eminence Andrei, Archbishop and Metropolitan of Cluj, and took place in Avram Iancu Square, in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Dormition of the Theotokos.

The “March for Life” 2024 event began in the center of Cluj-Napoca. Fourteen Christian Orthodox organizations and associations were involved in organizing the march, which reached its 14th edition this year. The event started with a blessing prayer and a Christian teaching message delivered by Father Andrei Andreicuț, Archbishop and Metropolitan of Cluj, Maramureș, and Sălaj, in which he highlighted the role that life- promoting events play in society.

His Eminence Andrei AndreicuțArchbishop and Metropolitan of Cluj, Maramureș, and Sălaj:

“You have gathered to advocate for life. God’s blessing is for life, for children. After man fell into sin, to guide him back to the right path, God gave the Ten Commandments. And the sixth commandment tells us ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ That is, the life given by God. Life, even from its beginning, has value. And to suppress it is a sin that cries out to heaven. Do not kill.

The Church must insist that these absolute values, given to us by God and contained in the Holy Scriptures and the teachings of the Romanian Orthodox Church, are always repeated. The Book of Genesis, the first book of the Holy Scriptures, says that after God created man, male and female, He blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.’ And the Lord Christ, incarnate, emphasizes one thing: ‘I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.’ Christianity is against death; it is for life. We do not wish for people to be killed; we are not for wars; we are for children, for life, for peace. May God grant that the ‘March for Life’ has the effect we all desire.”

The organizers aimed to promote the importance of protecting life, raising awareness about the right to life of the unborn child, highlighting the phenomenon of abortion and its effects, as well as emphasizing alternatives and support offered to women in difficult pregnancy situations.

Father Claudiu MeleanParish Priest of the Church of “Saint Hierarch Alexander” – Cluj-Napoca:

“This March for Life is a cry for all mothers, for all situations, for all young women who were unable or did not manage to carry their pregnancies to term. It is a cry that we are here with them, that we want to support them, that we want to bring them before God with repentance and forgiveness, and that we pray that God heals their wounds and pains that we know they are going through.

We start talking about life, but practically, the church also has some programs that support through counseling. For example, there is a priest at the Stanca Hospital, and there are some organizations that provide support to women in abortion crisis because there are very special situations, and we often face such situations, and the church also comes with financial support if needed. To any woman who wants to and is under family pressure, especially young, unmarried ones, they panic: ‘What will I do with a child?’ And it is not necessarily justified. Forgive me for giving this example, but in Africa, no one asks what limit to put on children—one, two, or three—and don’t think they are better off than us; they are much worse off. And that proves that God cares for life, because He gave life, and we do not have the right to take it. That is why the church wants to support those who do not realize the connection between abortion and murder. We do not encourage abortions in any way, even in special situations. I heard about a bioethics professor who asks students: ‘What would you do if you encountered a pregnancy in a woman who has mental issues and the father is an alcoholic? Clearly, we recommend abortion.’ They say, ‘You would have aborted Einstein or Mozart.’ So, we must be very careful because God knows how to care for each one, but we must also do our part, as small as it may be and as much as we can.”

Dr. Mirela Letiția FeldereanNeonatologist Specialist:

“There are women who probably have medical fears, others who may have arguments related to their financial situation, and others who may simply have moral concerns or feel pressures on them. So, first of all, we put them in God’s care when we try to help them, and in the end, it is God’s work. We, the doctors, are just participants in God’s work, and in no way are we the heroes, as we often tend to believe. But in the end, everything we do is only with God’s help, and I could not say that I personally saved lives. Life and death are in God’s hands.”

With colorful balloons and pro-life messages on placards, participants in the march started on the route from Avram Iancu Square to 21 December 1989 Boulevard, then to Union Square, and back to Avram Iancu Square.

Upon returning in front of the Metropolitan Cathedral, priests and representatives of pro-life organizations delivered brief speeches highlighting the value of life and the role of such events in stopping demographic decline.

Father Claudiu:

“I want to ask you, do you love life or death?” “Life.”

“I think we all love life, that’s why we are here. And the person who loves life loves Christ, who is the source of life.”

Father Ioan Emilian RazaMember of the “Mother and Child” Association – Cluj- Napoca:

“We are aware of what is happening in the world, of this culture of death. In the 19th century, they talked about the death of God; now they talk about the death of man. In this culture of death, we bring the culture of life, and we think about supporting not a secure future as politicians or others promise, but a very fragile future that belongs to the mother and the child.”

Although the number of those who responded to this pro-life initiative was much smaller compared to previous years, the approximately 500 participants wanted to be a voice for those who cannot defend their own right to life.

Dr. Mirela:

“You see, nowadays, there are many people and many networks that are pro-abortion, and from my point of view, it is necessary for that small group of people who are pro-life to get involved. If we do not get involved and do not speak out, the stones will cry out.”

Father Claudiu:

“The strength of the people lies in simply gathering and participating in any kind of event that we believe in the values of this nation, whether religious or national. We must support each other. In unity, we can overcome.”

About the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

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